Trip Stories: "The Perfect Storm"

This trip story comes in from camper Max on his first round trip of second session with a little editing help from his trip counselor Ethan Shafron. Max experienced one of the fast-moving, hard-hitting storms typical of the Boundary Waters during July.

It was just before dusk, about 9 PM, when it hit all of us. We scuttled into the tent as the rain hit the rocky ground surrounding us, kicking up mud and pine needles. Our crew banded together to watch as the yellow sky swallowed our campsite from the west, signaling the start of what was to come.

We opted to pass the time by playing cards, a classic camp activity during such storms. Soon after, we progressed to the moment of truth: we were to check what was dry and what was not, never a fun task in the mosquito infested air following a storm. This proved to be (as most things are) less painful than we thought. Darkness filled in over us, encapsulating the night and defeating the storm that stretched the sky not one hour earlier.

We awoke lugubriously from that night’s sleep (or lack thereof) to find Ethan Shafron, one of our counselors, checking on our status in getting ready for the next day’s paddle. He and Mike Running graciously informed us that we should go back to sleep, for we were taking a duff day. I slept like a king.

So inspired was Max by his duff day that he decided to dedicate a poem to it.


Ode on a Duff Day


What does it mean?

It is resting upon dreams.


It is sitting, still, in a bay

With nothing decaying.


It’s laying with your best friends,

Watching the sky pass by,

Waiting forever for the day of work.

It’s great don’t you see?



What does it mean?

It’s resting upon dreams

That you and I will be creating.


At the end of the day

Duff saved the day.